Special competition programme for best film by a female director and a record number of international guests from the documentary industry in Sofia

The fourth edition of Sofia DocuMental International Film Festival (18-25, September) will once again host a competition for the best film, directed by a female director, awarded by an international jury, which has been its trademark since its pilot edition in 2020. This year, the competition is supported by the Bulgarian Fund for Women, which will present the special award during the closing ceremony on September 24 in the pop-up cinema under the domes of Largo Sofia. Especially for the event, directors of films with multiple awards will be on-site in Bulgaria to meet the Bulgarian audience after the premieres.

The films selected for the competition programme for the best female director:

  • SMOKE SAUNA SISTERHOOD by Anna Hints (Estonia/France/Iceland, 2023, 89 min.)
  • QUEENDOM by Agniia Galdanova (USA/France, 2023, 98 min.)
  • QUEEN OF THE DEUCE by Valerie Kontakos (Greece, 2022, 53 min.)
  • LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO by Coco Scrijber (Netherlands, 2022, 84 min.)
  • LA SINGLA by Paloma Zapata (Spain/Germany, 2023, 95 min.)
  • SEVEN WINTERS IN TEHRAN by Steffi Niederzoll (Germany/France, 2023, 96 min.)

"Sofia DocuMental is a socially engaged event that aims to contribute to gender equality both on a societal level and within the film industry, where films directed by women are still predominantly less. We are happy that the Bulgarian Fund for Women recognised in us the same values that they have and support themselves. While unintentional, out of the twenty films selected for this year's programme, twelve are directed or co-directed by women, which in itself shows that we are on the right track in our mission to give diverse stories a platform to unfold." says festival director Martichka Bozhilova.

In addition to the directors of the films selected for the competition programme, guests of Sofia DocuMental will also be Hanna Badziaka, co-director of the opening film from Belarus MOTHERLAND, the debuting Serbian director Pavle Terzic with his IRREVERSIBLE TIME FAIRYTALE, the directors of two alumni films in collaboration between the Balkan Documentary Center and the Sarajevo Festival - Daniel and Alexandra Liz Bernuti, who are behind the closing film of the festival from Romania, a co-production with HBO Max, MY MUSLIM HUSBAND, Matyas Kalman with his PAYING A VISIT TO FORTUNA, as well as Vlad Petri with BETWEEN REVOLUTIONS and Marek Pongo – the protagonist and human rights activist from PONGO CALLING and others.